Austin Shines, but Cougars Edge Billikens, 2-1
ST. LOUIS - Julian Austin allowed just one earned run and four hits, but Southern Illinois Edwardsville snuffed out Saint Louis' seventh-inning rally and defeated the Billikens 2-1 Wednesday afternoon at the Billiken Sports Center.
Austin (4-10) yielded both SIUE runs in the first inning, allowing three hits and her only walk of the day. But the sophomore right-hander settled down after that, retiring 14 straight batters and surrendering only a sixth-inning leadoff single the rest of the way.
The Billikens (19-29) tallied their only run in the third. Erin Harcar drew a leadoff walk, stole second and moved to third on Jessica Van Nostrand's sacrifice.
Kerri Dockins grounded sharply to third, and Harcar was tagged out after straying too far from the bag. However, the third baseman threw wildly trying to complete the double play, and Dockins scooted to second. That proved costly for SIUE (20-26) as Jessica Buschjost delivered a two-out single up the middle that plated Dockins.
SIUE hurler Rebecca Gray (2-6) responded by setting down the next nine and 12 of the next 13 SLU batters. The Billikens rallied with two outs in the seventh, loading the bases on singles by Kelsey Biggs and Harcar and Van Nostrand's hit-by-pitch, but were unable to push across the tying run.Next for the Billikens is an Atlantic 10 Conference game at Temple Friday, April 27, at 2 p.m. (CT).